Camperdown - A Tanzanian man accused of intimidating one of President Jacob Zuma's wives could walk free due to a technicality, a KwaZulu-Natal court heard on Monday.
If the State did not present any evidence that the alleged offence happened in the Camperdown magisterial district, the case could be dropped.
Magistrate Thys Taljaard on Monday told prosecutor Ndoda January that at least a part of the offence that Tanzanian national Steven John Masunga allegedly committed had to have occurred in the magisterial district for him to have jurisdiction over the matter.
Postponing the case against Masunga to Wednesday for a formal bail application, Taljaard warned January that “I will strike the matter from the roll”.
The issue of jurisdiction arose when Masunga's legal aid lawyer Mdu Thuketana sought to have his client detained at the Camperdown police cells rather than in prison for safety reasons.
Thuketana said his client, who lives in Durban, had been promised by police that he would be kept at the Camperdown police cells for his safety.
The charge of intimidation arises from a complaint made by Zuma's wife Nompumelelo Ntuli - commonly known as MaNtuli - who claimed that Masunga tried to force her to arrange a business meeting for him with Zuma.
The offence allegedly took place on January 15.
This was allegedly done by cellphone, but when Taljaard questioned where the offence happened January said she could have received the intimidating sms “somewhere between here and Nkandla”.
The case adjourned and Taljaard ordered that Masunga be detained at the Camperdown police cells.
Masunga wore a brightly coloured shirt and posed for the crowd of press photographers when he entered court.